February 11, 2014 - Hair and Beauty, Skin Care

Beauty Buzz | Chafing Cream as a Primer?

This is a post that I never imagined writing and a comparison I never dreamed of doing.  But necessity sometimes calls for drastic measures and that’s exactly what led to this discovery.

Last week, I ran out of my beloved Smashbox primer, the same primer that all of you have heard me sing praises about since this blog’s beginnings.  Since I order the jumbo sized tubes directly from Smashbox, I have to wait several days for it to arrive when I run out.  Which is why I try to order it in advance.  This time, I kept forgetting to place my order and got to the end of my tube without having a replacement.

Panicked, I took to the internet to see what, if any, drugstore brands of primer are comparable to get me through until my Smashbox arrives.  Over and over again, the same results came back…and they weren’t for a primer at all.

Instead what I found is a chafing cream, yes, a product to prevent irritation in intimate and delicate areas, is actually an awesome facial primer!


Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel vs. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

1.  It’s inexpensive.  At around $6 for a 1.5 oz. sized tube of Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel, it sure as heck beats $36 for a similar sized tube of Smashbox primer.  That’s a $30 savings!

2.  It feels great.  It glides onto skin the same as the Smashbox primer and quickly creates a powdery smooth base for foundation.  A little bit goes a long way!

3.  It has the same ingredients.  The main ingredient in both products is dimethicone which creates a barrier between skin and your cosmetics.  Foundation and other cosmetics float on top of your skin which creates a smooth canvas and hides imperfections.  It makes your skin look smoother and foundation last longer.

4.  It’s non-irritating and doesn’t clog pores.  I was afraid my face would break out since I have very sensitive skin and this isn’t technically formulated as a cosmetic product.  I’ve had no irritation, break outs or other adverse effects from it.

5.  Bottom line:  It works the same.  It really does.  I decided not to re-order my Smashbox primer and plan to use the rest of the Monistat Soothing Care Powder Gel instead.

If you can get past the fact that this is a chafing cream, your cosmetics budget will thank you.  I’m all for a budget friendly solution that I can easily pick up on my weekly shopping trips.

It’s Your Turn:  Would you be willing to try it out?  Tell me in the comments.


BeautyBUZZ It’s time to link up your beauty posts for this week’s Beauty Buzz link up.  Join me along with Lulu of Simply Lulu Style, Nicole of MomTrends and Janise of Mama in Heels to connect, share and sparkle!

Lulu is hosting this week, link up HERE.  We also have a great giveaway going on, so be sure to pop over and enter!

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  • I have been using it as primer for years…at first I was a little weirded out, but it really works! I don’t use anything else. I’ve tried a few actual primers and I always go back to the Monistat…ha!

  • WHAT??!!! I must have been living under a cave, but I just discovered facial primer?? My Birchbox had it in there last month and I’ve fallen in love!!! When my little sample runs out, I will for sure be trying this!! Thank you SO much for that tip!!

  • Alyson

    I JUST bought a tube of this a couple of days ago! I was updating my skincare routine and had used some of your recommendations, but just couldn’t stomach the price tag of the Smashbox primer. A little Google research led me to Monistat and it’s been great so far!

  • Interesting! I may need to try this. The regular Monistat cream (with the antifungal) is supposed to help hair loss/growth. The active ingredient is supposed to kill a certain fungus that is on the scalp that can impede hair growth and cause hair loss. I just bought a tube last week, but haven’t gotten around to trying it yet.

    Tracy @Its Mostly About Fashion

  • Wow! That is crazy! I have been using primer for a couple years and it can get pricey. Good to know there is an alternative that works just as well!

  • I’ve always heard about using that, but was a little confused. Now I know all about it!

  • I have heard this several times before, but most of the people I read who used it only used drugstore products to begin with, so I was not convinced. I am glad you compare it to a higher end brand. I don’t use Smashbox but Bare Mineral’s primer, which is also expensive, so I may give this a try. Also, do you use a BB cream? I just bought some but I’m confused on the proper way to use it. With primer? Instead of primer? Before/after primer? After some research I just bought the Garnier Skin Renew and have liked it so far. (I didn’t want to spend a lot of money in case I broke out.) It is also nice for those make-up free days to even out my skin tone and provide sunscreen. I would love to hear your thoughts!

    • Vivian Panelli

      I like to moisturize, put on primer, then the BB cream last. If I want a really matte look, then I’ll dust on some powder on my T-zone.

    • Krystal Louise Hensley

      It depends on how you’re using the bb cream! I use BB cream as my foundation, since I have nice skin already and sheer coverage works just fine for me. Because I treat it as foundation, I use a primer and a setting spray. But if you’re using a BB cream specifically for “no-makeup” days then the extra steps may not be worth the hassle. However, BB creams do tend to have a shorter wear time than foundations.

  • I’ve never thought to use it, who knew? I may try it out when my primer I have runs out.

  • I have heard of this, but was always too chicken to try it out! Glad to hear a true life experience with it.

  • That’s great that it works the same, and that it’s safe for sensitive skin!

  • Wow..I was going to buy the Smashbox primer but this is so great! Will give it a try for sure–thank you for finding that and sharing with us!!!


  • I’ve been using Monistat as primer for a couple of years now, and I just love it. It’s so inexpensive and does a great job!

  • I’ve been using the chafing gel for almost a year now and it works great! Saves me so much money compared to the Smashbox primer. Those Smashbox folks better look out! Monistat may make a jump into the primer businesss 🙂

  • Charla

    Craziness! But my Smashbox primer just ran out too…so I’ll be giving this a try! Who knew?!?

  • Jan Fisher

    oh my word! I JUST bought the smashbox primer (based on your blog! ) and LOVE, LOVE it! How did I not know about primer like this before?? I gulped at the $36.00 price though.
    When I run out, I will definately try this for $6 and see how it goes….I’m trusting you!

  • Jen

    I actually use the monistat too. I could not bring myself to spend the money on the Smashbox primer at the time. I have tried a few other primers since then but they all seem not better than the monistat.

  • Well, dang. There you go. I suppose I’ll be checking that out in the very near future. Huh.

  • I’ve always heard that this actually works as a perfect dupe. The Smashbox primer is one of my mom’s faves… I might need to “surprise” her with some chaffing cream! haha 😉

    xo Always, Abby

  • Thanks for the tip- I haven’t used primer in a while because I’ve felt like it was way too expensive and on top of that, the cheaper ones have never really worked out for me so it’s good to see an affordable product out there that works just as well!


  • Wanda

    Heck yes I’ll be trying this! I’m completely intrigued. My wallet always appreciates when I save money. And I can certainly appreciate a product that multitasks. Thanks for posting about this. I never would’ve known.

  • Jessica

    I’ve been using this for over a year now! It’s great, I even wear it on days I don’t wear foundation or powder. I think it helps under eye concealer keep from settling into fine lines also. Great post!

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  • Valarie

    The Monistat Chafing Gel is great as a primer. I have been using it about 4 months, and will not use anything else. I use the Benefit BB Foundation/Creme and they work great together!!

    • So glad you are using this budget friendly primer!! 🙂

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